A MAN who believed 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories has been jailed for arson after burning down a 5G mast.
Father-of-three Michael Whitty, 47, was convinced via internet conspiracy theories that there was a link between 5G and the coronavirus pandemic. He then decided to light a Vodafone mast on fire in Kirkby, Merseyside in April.
Whitty, who pleaded guilty to arson at an earlier hearing, was sentenced to three years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday, where he appeared over a videolink from HMP Altcourse.
Judge Thomas Teague QC said: “In my view there was here a high degree of planning and premeditation. There was use of firelighters and, in the sense that the aim was to put the mast out of action, there was intent to cause very serious damage to property.”
Andrew Alty, defending, said Whitty had a genuinely held view about the potential dangers linked to 5G masts and coronavirus. He said: “That view may or may not be correct, time will tell. He acknowledges his response was wrong and disproportionate.”
Judge Teague said Whitty had 29 previous convictions, including for assault and for possession of a firearm, but none for similar offences.